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Cannabis farm and cocaine press found in police raids

By Deborah McAleese

Published 22/01/2016

Cannabis plants seized by police at a house in Mowhan Street in south Belfast
Cannabis plants seized by police at a house in Mowhan Street in south Belfast
Cocaine manufacturing equipment found by officers in Coleraine

Cocaine manufacturing equipment and a cannabis factory have been discovered by police during separate drug busts.

Four properties were searched in Coleraine as part of an operation against a crime gang involved in the production and supply of cocaine.

During those searches a drug press, a bulking agent and other paraphernalia were discovered at one of the addresses, the PSNI said.

A 30-year-old woman and two men aged 33 and 34 were arrested on suspicion of a number of drugs offences.

They were questioned yesterday by police on suspicion of possession and possession with intent to supply cocaine, as well as conspiracy to supply and being concerned in the production of cocaine.

In a separate policing operation in south Belfast on Wednesday officers dismantled a cannabis factory at a house in Mowhan Street.

Police said yesterday that a large number of cannabis plants were discovered during the operation.

PSNI Constable Michael Johnson said: "Approximately 100 cannabis plants and an assortment of apparatus used for the cultivation of cannabis plants was seized.

No arrests have been made at this stage. However, enquiries are ongoing."

Alliance councillor Paula Bradshaw praised police in Belfast for preventing the cannabis from making it onto the streets.

"Drugs pose a danger to the community and they strengthen criminal elements, which terrorise many areas," she said.

"The community is safer now these drugs have been seized, but some people remain who are intent on peddling these dangerous substances."

Policing Board member Jonathan Craig said he was delighted with the success of the two policing operations.

"This shows that the PSNI is serious about tackling the scourge of drugs on our streets," he said.

"These are deadly drugs that can cause great harm to individuals, their families and whole communities.

"If anyone can assist police in their efforts to stop those involved in these type of operations then I would encourage them to do so."

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